Book Review – Our Man in Havana

Today we bring you our second book review from the lovely Jillian.

Originally from Derry , Jillian Allen now lives and works in London. Her love affair with reading began as a little girl and today she shares one of her recent favourites.

“This one was read on the recommendation of Mr A. And he did well!

Our Man in Havana, by Graham Greene, was written in 1958. As the title suggests, it is a secret agent thriller set in Cuba – but this is definitely not your typical espionage tale.

James Wormwold is a vacuum cleaner salesman bringing up his daughter Milly alone. The beautiful Milly has a fine line in expensive tastes and hobbies, and Wormwold struggles to say no to her. Help is at hand in the form of Hawthorne, who offers him work for the British Secret Service. Despite his reservations, Wormwold finds himself drawn into this new world by a desire to give Milly her heart’s desire – a pony for her birthday.

Finding himself ill-equipped for his new role, and having no information to send to London, he begins to invent a network of agents, varying between real-life people who Wormwold has never actually spoken to, and those who he has completely invented. These agents – and their detailed information, prove a big hit in London, and Wormwold soon finds himself with a new secretary and a radio assistant. This new development doesn’t sit easily with Wormwold, as he fears they will uncover his web of lies, but even more worryingly, his imagined reports begin to come true – even leading to the death of his key fictional agent, Raul.

This is a great take on the usual spy thriller, and highly entertaining. Greene’s characters really come to life, and the essence of life in hot, sultry, and sometimes seedy Havana is captured beautifully. The twist of Wormwold’s fake reports coming true is mirrored by the onset of the Cuban Missile Crisis, which this book pre-dates by four years.

Definitely pick this book up if you are looking for a quick read, or a break from the norm. I don’t think you will regret it!”

We will! Thank you Jillian!

handsome and pretty



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